Both nature and nurture -- genetic makeup and the environment experienced through life -- combine to influence health and well-being, Duke University Medical Center researchers and their colleagues have determined in four new studies. The researchers showed that peoples genes play a key role in how they respond both biologically and psychologically to stress in their environment.
The researchers presented four studies that examine genetics and the environment on Thursday, March 2, 2006, as part of a symposium organized by Duke researchers at the American Psychosomatic Society annual meeting in Denver. The studies were conducted at Vrije Universiteit in Holland, the Medical College of Georgia and Duke. The studies were funded by the National Institute on Aging and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
Two studies from Duke evaluated effects of a particular mutation in the gene that makes monoamine oxidase-A (MAOA-uVNTR), an enzyme responsible for breaking down serotonin as well as other neurotransmitters in the brain. One form of this mutation causes the gene to make more of the enzyme, while the other form results in less production of enzyme.
Tracey Koepke | EurekAlert!
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